Saturday Spice: Amber’s Fantasy

by Pepper on September 14, 2013

Hi Friends!  Happy Saturday. Today’s “Spice” is a sample of my upcoming IR romance, Amber’s Fantasy. I’m working on the last round of edits today. Yay! Release date for this book is November 19th, just  a bit over two months from now, and the publisher is the fabulous Beachwalk Press. Hope you enjoy the excerpt:

* * * * * * * * * *

AmbersFantasyDark_Medium-200x300The short walk from the café in the cool night air had done its work. Her head was completely clear now. Nervous thoughts caromed like a pinball through her mind. Maybe going up to his apartment wasn’t such a good idea.

Maybe it would lead in a direction she wasn’t ready for.

Or maybe she was ready. Her mouth felt suddenly dry.

Five minutes later she stood on his small balcony, waiting for the promised cup of coffee. The view from there was indeed spectacular. A three-quarter moon hung over the city, casting a wobbly light on the dark water. Headlights were strung like pearls on the nearby MarkhamBridge. Below them, traffic moved at a crawl down Front Avenue, the occasional honk of a horn piercing the night. The energy of the city rose around her, part of the breeze that caressed her shoulders.

Ray joined her after a moment, and her pulse, which had begun to calm down, jumped once more into the danger zone. He handed her a steaming cup. In it, coffee swirled with lots of cream, just the way she liked it best.

“Thank you. I see you noticed I like a little bit of coffee in my half-and-half.”

He chuckled. “I did. I don’t know how you keep your figure if you always drink it this way.”

“I only indulge on the weekends,” she told him. “I drink it black the rest of the week.”

“Really?” His gaze moved over her, causing her fingers to bunch in her wrap, clutching it more snugly around her.

She nodded, afraid to look too deeply into those dark brown eyes.

“To true confessions,” he said. He grinned down at her as he clinked his coffee cup against hers.

She felt new heat rise in her cheeks. Turning back toward the river, she took a sip of her drink, scrabbling for a different topic of conversation. The last thing she wanted to dwell on was the dangerous topic of personal secrets.

“How are you going to stand leaving this place, this view?” They both watched as a string of three small, lighted boats plied their way down the black river.

“I’ll miss it.” He shrugged.

“Have you found a nice place in Salem?”

Of course he has. No doubt he’d be moving into a sophisticated singles place like this, where he could easily entertain the bevy of attractive women he’d certainly be meeting at his new job.

She stopped the thought short and blinked. There was that uncharacteristic jealousy again. She’d have to work at letting that go. It was silly to feel that way; they had no future together.

“Actually, I’m moving in with my grandparents. At least for a while. They really need me right now.”

And just like that, he broke out of the box marked “player” she had tried to stuff him in, and became the three-dimensional good guy she’d caught such tantalizing glimpses of over the past few weeks. He was much more dangerous in this role. Her body hummed, every pore and follicle aware of his nearness. She dared to look at him again. The moon shed just enough light to make out his features, which had suddenly gone somber.

“I know it’s only a matter of time until they have to move to a facility, but if my staying with them means they can keep their home a while longer, how can I not help them out?”

“Of course,” she murmured, thinking of her stubborn sister. “Family comes first. I believe that too.”

Ray leaned his elbows on the ledge and stared up at the sky. “When I was a boy and my granddad used to take me fishing, I thought of him as ancient. He would have been in his mid-fifties about then.” He sighed. “He’s definitely an old man now. I want to be there for him the way he was for me.”

Amber swallowed the little ache that had settled in her throat. The deeply personal turn of their conversation was throwing her off balance. “If it wasn’t for my grandmother, my brother and sister and I would have gone to foster homes.”

He looked across at her, his eyes soft in the dark. “So you understand why I’m going.”

“Yes.” But I wish you wouldn’t.

He shifted closer to her. Before she realized what he intended to do, he stroked gently down her cheek with the back of his fingers. She shivered.

“You’re certainly not an Ice Princess.” The tone of his voice was hushed and thoughtful, almost as if he hadn’t intended to say the words out loud.

“I’m not what? Did you sneak something into my coffee? I could have sworn you just said I wasn’t a princess.” She smiled as she set her cup on the ledge.

“Never mind.” He chuckled as he picked up the cup and moved it to a small table nearby. When his hand stilled again, it came to rest on her arm. They both stared at it. His tanned hand was just a shade or two lighter than the smooth caramel tone of her skin.

Amber’s pulse began to pound once more as a dozen butterflies dipped and fluttered in her tummy. “Maybe we should have brought a snack along with us from the party,” she said.

“You’re hungry after all? I haven’t shopped lately, but I think I have some crackers and cheese.” He started to turn toward the kitchen.

Steeling her courage, she stopped him. “It’s just—I’m just—” She wound down, unable to admit how nervous she was suddenly.

“You’re not hungry?”

She shook her head, staring at him.

His brow furrowed, and then a small smile tugged at one corner of his lips. “Good, Amber, ’cause I can think of other things to do with that sexy mouth of yours.” He cupped her chin in his hands but didn’t kiss her.

Amber sucked her breath in and waited. A few loaded seconds ticked by. “Like what?” she finally said, hardly believing her own audacity.

 Copyright 2013 Pepper Anthony

* * * * * * * * * *

As always, I thank you for stopping by to read and I welcome any comments you’d like to make. Next week be sure to join me as I welcome Tara Mills, here to share about her latest release.

~ Pepper
“Let’s read something spicy!”

 

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: